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Friday, August 16, 2013

What's so great about GRASS-FED Beef?

COWS were made for GRASS!

The meat man at Whole Foods asked me "why do you want to pass on the $4.99/lb beef on sale that is only partially grass fed"?  Partial, I don't like the sound of that.  Then the meat man explained how the cows are fed corn the last part of their life which adds about 300 pounds to their weight and makes the farmers a nice profit.  I wanted the $7.99/lb beef that is totally grass-fed, but I was not completely clear on my reasons.  I told him that cows were meant to eat grass, and I also asked him if he could guarantee the corn-fed cows were not consuming genetically modified foods (gmo corn) in their grain.  His response, "of course I cannot guarantee that there are no gmos, and there probably are".  Next he proceeded to tell me that the gmos in the grain were not "transferred" to the meat. Meaning I would not be consuming gmos.  Oh really, yeah right, was my response.    I told him I didn't have time to give him a science lesson and moved on with my 100% grass fed beef in cart.  Oh, I was stirred up after that conversation, and to think it all happened at Whole Foods! I'm thankful though because it spurred me onto think more about why I pay more and feel passionate about supporting farmers doing all grass fed.

A week later I was at a farmers market and asked one of the cow farmers why I should buy 100% grass fed beef.  His response, "because it has more omega 3s than a fillet of salmon".  WHAT? Omega 3s in beef? I thought that was only in fish and flax oil, maybe some nuts too.  I was floored, but also I felt a little proud of sticking to my gut instinct on the 100% grass fed purchase at Whole Foods.  Now to do my own investigation.

What's so important about omega-3's? We cannot make these fats in our bodies. So we need to get them from eating yummy things like fish, beef, and other pastured animal products like eggs.
What about omega-6s? These are important too, but the problem is we get WAY TOO MUCH!  Omega-6s are found in vegetable/seed oils which the average person consumes too much.  This is probably because packaged foods contain vegetable oils, chips, crackers, cereals for example.

A quick review of the research and this is what I found below:

*"grass-finished beef tends toward a higher proportion of cholesterol neutral stearic FA (C18:0), and less cholesterol-elevating SFAs (saturated fatty acids) such as myristic (C14:0) and palmitic (C16:0) FAs"(1)

I want cholesterol neutral instead of cholesterol ELEVATING!

*"Several studies suggest that grass-based diets elevate precursors for Vitamin A and E, as well as cancer fighting antioxidants such as glutathione (GT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity as compared to grain-fed contemporaries"(1)

Cancer fighting antioxidants!! Maybe this is a link to the reason cancer is on the rise.  We are eating way too much factory farm meats! Shocking.

I'll keep on buying my 100% grass-fed beef and I hope you do too! Let's support nature even if we have to eat a little less ;-)

*(1) 2010 Mar 10;9:10. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-9-10. A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Best Protein Powder I can find! Processing matters!

This is the whey protein powder I just ordered 1lb= $44. Not cheap, but that's the point, high quality is not cheap.  This is because they do not use genetically modified ingredients, such as beet sugar, fructose from corn sugars, that are mass produced driving the costs down.  Also, producing mass quantities of whey protein (this comes from cow's milk) in those horrible factory farms is completely irresponsible, but hey, you can then buy it cheap, right.  So that's what I'm advocating here, quality.   I'm excited about this whey because from what I've been researching on the internet, this may be the BEST, HIGHEST quality there is out there. So far anyways.  Here's the link

This company has formulated a whey protein that is from 100% grass fed cows, and I think one of the most important aspects is the "cold pressed" processing of the protein.  They call it TruCool(TM)  processing which is very exciting.  From my biochemistry classes we learned that when you heat a protein, the heat actually denatures it.  This can change the protein's form causing your body to be unable to process it as easily and quickly.  It just makes sense that you would want your whey protein in the most original form as God made it in the cow.

This is the company.  GOOD STUFF!!!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Welcome back! The new and improved!

Wow, I've not written in over a year! That's what having two babies back to back and nursing will do to a Mama of two girls.  I recently went gluten free at the beginning of this year and it has CHANGED my life.  I have more mental focus and clarity.  A fellow gluten-free friend said it best, I thought I was ADD/ADHD until I took gluten out of my diet.  That was me, always hard to focus, sleepy a lot, but I thought it was all due to nursing and having babies.  Well, it was, but when I took out gluten, I gained energy and my mind feels so clear.  It's hard to explain to anyone who has not experienced the conversion, so just take my word for it, it's worth a try.  At first it was super hard and the usual thoughts of "what can I eat" or "how can I have pizza again" kept badgering my mind.  It took months and months to get over all that and try every frozen gluten free item in the freezer section at kroger, publix, and whole foods.  Only to end up feeling not so great after the frozen choices and realizing, maybe I'll stick with cooking the basics like rice and potatoes.  Wow, have I learned a LOT over this past year and I'm excited to share and have somewhere to keep track of it all.  My latest favorite muffin recipe at the moment is: (yes I created this on my own) Grain free, gluten free, dairy free, no refined sugar date&pecan muffins.

You have to have a high speed blender for this to work right. I have a blendtec but vitamix would work too.

Preheat oven to 350F. I love convection for baking so that's what I use.

Into your high speed blender add:

4 eggs, pastured please
1 cup dates pitted
*blend these for about 30 seconds on low speed until dates are dissolved

- 1 cup garbonzo bean flour (I buy sprouted garbonzo bean flour from Cultures for Health)
- a splash of vanilla extract (I try to skip measuring as much as possible)
-1/3c unsweetened almond milk or more depending on thickness desired
- two handfuls of pecans or walnuts
-1/4 tsp salt (yes, I use Himalayan pink salt only because I have the pink stuff from the Indian food store and love it, something feels better about it been exotic).
*blend for another 15 seconds or until nuts are chopped finely

-1 teaspoon baking soda
-2 teaspoon arrowroot powder
-2 teaspoon cream of tartar
*blend again to mix (you could use 1/2 tsp baking powder, but a friend of mine taught me this concoction is better for gluten and corn sensitive people).

*you could add frozen or fresh blueberries to this recipe for an extra yummy factor. I did and it's amazing! Freeze the left-overs and put them in the frig at night for the morning breakfast rush!

Pour into 12 medium muffins or 24 mini muffins as I have shown here, they rise a lot, so fill about 2/3 full. Bake at 350F convection for around 18 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

This makes about 12 medium muffins, but 24 littles ones are better.